Chai a Kashmiri word literally means tea but often the term is misused in place to delude the nature of taking bribe.The problem which the state of Jammu and Kashmir faces isn’t corruption alone. We have a bigger threat to the collective interests and that is legalisation of bribe by using a different label on its name.
From hospitals to schools corruption has grown it’s roots deep in our society. When a baby is born hospital staff comes and asks for chai. Chai is demanded when we pass examinations, seek clearance of a pending file in any government office or seek assistance to rectify any fault with electricity or telecom facility. Whilst I find the very roots of this disgraceful menace in the barter system where in some favour one might have asked for chai (literally tea). Now may ask what this chai is? It is bribe-legalised by consensus.
I work in SKIMS Medical College and each day we have to issue a minimal of ten antenatal cards (ANC cards) after which all the medical facilities available in the hospital are granted free of cost to pregnant citizens. Whenever I come and receive these cards from patients often there are more than ten patients waiting there. But following the hospital policy I collect only ten cards from first ten patients to forward them to Resident doctor who forwards them to the consultant on duty who cross checks the ultrasonography reports and these cards are issued.
But the patient who couldn’t make it to the first ten comes to me starts by offering lame excuses as why they were late or why they couldn’t make it to first ten? But when my response to all these excuses is negative they in a low tone with a smile on their face and extreme humility reply and I quote: ’Sir, Ase haz dimoi tse chai ( literally this means Sir we will give you tea). But ironically it’s the sad truth of our society that they try to bribe me without an iota of hesitation.
The ugliest truth of the legalisation of bribe is now part of our society -sadly. Many may not accept this harsh reality but look deep into yourselves and see how many times have you been in a situation where you choose to legalise bribe. Sometimes it seems as if we have inherited these genes of corruption and now corruption runs in our blood. Sadly!
Our state has a bad reputation with regards to corruption. If a man does a bad thing while thinking it is bad ;it is a bad thing .But if a man does a bad thing thinking it to be good ,it is the worst thing possible. Our society is doing a treacherous thing to its future by adopting the same policy by which it promotes a bad thing under a fake label. By -legalising bribe under the label of chai we are wittingly or unwittingly doing a a great damage to the collective consciousness of our society.The longer we take to recognise this the greater we will suffer.Bribe in society can’t be accepted by anyone with a good consciousness and a generalised morale. The term “Chai” is a depiction of the internal necrotic malfunctioning. Legalisation of bribe and corruption by using a different name doesn’t change the business of discrepancies .
.Effects on our society
Kashmir has already lost its reputation on national level.A recent study by Centre for Media Studies ( CMS) has placed Jammu and Kashmir in the list of top five corrupt states.This would have a logical consequence as most of the other citizens of country would not believe the transparency in the working system of our state ; haunting business and relationship at large.
Legalisation of bribe and corruption will show it’s effects in the coming generations when this concept of ” Chai” will be fully inoculated in business and no one will feel this term to be alien.Who ever hears the word” corruption” speaks in its negative. But after legalisation of bribe we hear “chai” and it doesn’t sound alien.And this is the worst problem we are left with nothing but a term that is our own.
Remedy to this problem is that we should decode the pathological meaning of word “Chai” and accept it that it is nothing but bribe. We should avoid any ambiguity brought up by these terms. We should counter legalisation of bribe to make our future secure and fight corruption.